BHAWANIPATNA: Farmers of Kalahandi district are worried over inadequate release of water from the right and left canals of Indravati reservoir for kharif cultivation. Worse, water is not reaching the tail end of the canals. Similarly, not enough power is being generated from the project in the absence of water.
Power generation capacity of Indravati project should be 600 MW during the peak period of water release but now, only 100 MW is being generated by the hydro-power division of the project. After power generation, water is released through power channel to Mangalpur barrage over river Hati. From there, water is released into left and right canals for irrigation and surplus water is stocked in the river.
For the current kharif season, the Agriculture department has decided to irrigate 80,000 hectares (ha) of land through left and right canals of Indravati project. Farmers of Kalahandi require a minimum of 60 cusecs of water daily for both the canals for kharif cultivation. Currently, 38 cusecs water is being released into left canal and only 18 into right canal. Similarly, as against minimum power generation of 180 MW during this period, only 100 MW is being generated.
“Water availability in the canals is not as per requirement,” said executive engineer of Kusimkhunti Left Irrigation Division Bhikari Charan Behera. This short supply of water has already affected farming activities in tail-ends of the ayecut areas of the project in Jaipatna, Junagarh, Kalampur, Dharamgarh and parts of Golamunda block of the district. As against the the normal reservoir level of 642 metres, the present water level in Indravati reservoir is 628.43 metres due to lack of adequate rainfall.